Society news and notes

Scholarships offered for safety leaders

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes is offering scholarships to master’s and doctoral candidates seeking academic degrees that underpin disaster safety and mitigation, including construction, engineering, financial services, meterology, risk communication, social sciences and more. The deadline to apply is March 15.

Scholarship awardees will be notified by March 29 regarding their selection as recipients.

Winners will be recognized at the 2014 Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Annual Conference Nov. 19-21 in Orlando, Fla., where they will be required to present their research findings as posters. For more details on the open application process, interested individuals are encouraged to visit (flash.org/scholarship).

Curves announces 2014 food drive

Curves International Inc., the largest chain of fitness centers for women in the world, today announced that the 2014 Curves Food Drive will take place from Monday through March 23 at participating Curves clubs across the U.S. and Canada. This year, Curves is inviting both non-members and members to take part in the food drive by bringing in a bag of non-perishable food or a monetary contribution of at least $30 to be donated to a local community food bank. All new members who make a food or monetary donation will receive will be charged no service fee when joining Curves (with some restrictions) as either a Fitness or Curves Complete member.

“Once again we are honored to offer the Curves Food Drive as a unique way for the community to come together and feed the needs of local food banks while simultaneously feeding the need for women’s health and fitness,” said Debbie Currie of Curves of Minot. “This year, donations will benefit Lord’s Cupboard and Our Lady of Grace.”

Now in its 16th year, the Curves Food Drive has gathered and donated more than 75 million pounds of food to benefit local community food banks. Over the years, Curves members have participated in unique ways including friendly in-club competitions and grocery cart parades. For more information, visit (Curves.com), Curves of Minot at 3421-15th St. SW, or call 852-1699.

Patronage dividends announced by CHS

More than 1,800 eligible owners of two locally controlled area agribusinesses that are part of CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, will share in the distribution of nearly $2.4 million in cash patronage based on business they conducted in 2013.

During 2014, these operations will allocate patronage dividends to their eligible customers based on business done Sept. 1, 2012 through Aug. 31, 2013, of which 40 percent is being paid out in cash and the remainder designated as equity ownership in the cooperative.

Receiving cash returns are: SunPrairie Grain, with 1,539 patrons, $2.2 million cash patronage returned, $2.8 million in equity earned and total patronage of $5 million; and Dakota Agronomy LLC, with 273 patrons, $179,000 cash patronage returned, $250,000 equity earned and total patronage on $428,000.

In addition, about 340 eligible patrons of Garrison Farmers Union Elevator will share in the distribution of $3.8 million in cash patronage and equity during 2014 based on business they’ve conducted with the company.

Garrison Farmers Union Elevator is a locally controlled retail division of CHS Inc., the nation’s leading producer-owned cooperative.

During 2014, Garrison Farmers Union Elevator will allocate a total of $3.8 million in patronage dividends to its eligible customers based on business done Sept. 1, 2012, through Aug. 31, 2013, of which $1.6 million is being paid out in cash.

Overall, CHS expects to return an estimated $433 million – its second highest return on record – during its 2014 fiscal year in cash patronage, equity redemptions and dividends paid on preferred stock to about 1,100 eligible cooperatives and more than 50,000 individual members and others in 49 states. CHS net income for its fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2013, was $992.4 million. Patronage is based on business done with CHS during fiscal 2013, while equity redemptions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years. From its establishment in 1998 through the current distribution, CHS has returned more than $3.5 billion in cash to its owners.

If they have not already done so, individuals who have reached age 70 and representatives of the estates of deceased members are encouraged to contact Brad Haugeberg and request redemption of their equity. CHS makes equity redemptions to eligible individual direct members throughout the year, based on attaining age 70 or estate retirements, but potentially eligible individuals must initiate contact.